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19. Project development

Last week of this FabAcademy adventure. All good things must come to an end but it was a real pleasure to discover, learn and experiment during these 20 weeks of training.

What tasks have been accomplished, and what tasks remain to be accomplished?

My robot has been built and is working well. My video is finished and working if you click on the play icon. My slide is also finished.

Time management

Concerning time management I organized myself mainly according to the deliveries of my motors. Until May I did a lot of research and documentation to find out how to realize my final project. I then realized a mini prototype to verify my hypotheses and to visualize how my future robot would work concretely. Once my idea was well advanced and validated I looked for motors that corresponded to my needs. Because of the COVID my engines took a little longer than expected. Once I received my motors I could start the construction of my robot. I realized the construction on 2 weekends to leave me then more than 3 weeks to realize the embedded electronics. With this good time management and a good anticipation of possible mistakes that could have happened (and did happen #Murphy’s law) I was able to finish my final project on time

What is working? What doesn’t work?

The general functioning of the robot works. My board with my microcontroller (SAMD21E) and that I made with the weeks dedicated to board design and production is working. My power board that drives my motors is also working. I started from the board I made during the week of production and modified it to support the power. My code that I wrote is also working, the communication with the PixyCam2 is very good with the SPI communication channel. Everything about the mechanical design works well, the robot runs very well and straight. All my expectations for this robot have been validated by myself, I am very happy with the final result and did not think at the beginning to be able to make a robot of this type.

What are the issues that need to be resolved?

Today the big question that needs to be solved is the steering angle. As I don’t have an H-bridge, I can’t reverse the motors to turn faster. The friction constraint being very strong my robot has a lot of difficulty to turn. For my project this is enough but with the time I have left at AgriLab I would like to develop this problem further and why not solve it.

The second problem that is very minor is the PixyCam. Sometimes, when there is a change of lighting (a lot of sun and then cloudy) the camera loses the signature. This problem is more difficult to correct, it is precisely the limits of the use of a camera.

What will happen when ?

I still have time left at AgriLab and I will continue to work on my robot to optimize it. However, as my internship is ending and as I am working on a different and important professional project, I will leave the robot in its final state. I would like my work to be used as a base for future students and that this project evolves.

What did you learn?

I learned a lot of things during this formation. Programming, electronic design, electronic components, 3D printing and scanning, managing a laser or a CNC were all things that were totally unknown to me at the beginning of the FabAcademy. This training is therefore a real asset to understand a little better the computerized world of today but especially of tomorrow. I also developed my English which is very important in a global context where negotiations are done in English. I still have many gaps in this language but this training has helped me enormously to progress.

It was a real pride for me to put in a single final project all my skills acquired during these weeks of training. In a single project there are electronics, programming, laser cutting, CAD, CNC, welding and so on.

Last update: June 17, 2021